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The growing online usage of ads designed to blend in with the rest of a website's content, a practice known as "native advertising," may be illegal in some instances, the Federal Trade Commission warned on Wednesday.
The FTC said that a survey of online publishers found that 73 percent allowed native advertising, the digital descendent of the newspaper "advertorial" and television's infomercials.
"Marketers have ... moved past the banner ad into advertising that is more seamlessly, and inconspicuously, integrated into digital content," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a speech that opened a conference on "Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content."
"While native advertising may certainly bring some benefits to consumers, it has to be done lawfully," she said. "By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying, deceptively, that the information comes from a non-biased source."U.S. F.T.C.: Online Ads Must Be Clearly Marked as Ads To Avoid Deception [reuters.com]
advertising that is more seamlessly, and inconspicuously, integrated into digital content
Is THAT EFFECTIVE disclosure?
If we take Google as an example, the adwords entries on Google do not look like and ad. Clever marketers have made the ads look like organic entries in the serps.
maybe G was consulted about FTC concerns which might lead to rule changes.
I think I recall Brett posting something years ago on this forum, to the effect that everything in the SERPs is advertising.